Southland Review: Who Will Survive Wednesday?

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Southland returned for its fourth season with a bang. Heck, it returned with several, as we got to know new faces and get reacquainted with some old ones on "Wednesday."

Officer John Cooper is back and he looks damn good. John is clean, sober and apparently pain free after successful back surgery. Now he's got to prove he's fit to be back on the street and he's obviously trying to figure out who knows what about him. 

His new partner, Jessica Tang, (Lucy Liu) has her own issues. She requests to ride with John. She's tired of being hit on. Does that mean she knows he's gay? Apparently not. She's just heard his a good guy and "squared away" so she hopes they won't have a problem. No. N problems there, that's for certain, and these two have great chemistry as partners.

Jessica's got her own YouTube video out there from when a giant of a man beat the crap out of her at a traffic stop. The police cruiser video cam caught it all and it looks like she's lucky to be alive. Hearing Dewey make fun of that video made me remember why his last partner ditched him. Drunk or sober, Dewey's still an ass.

Southland Season 4 Premiere Pic

Sammy and Ben have been partners for months now but when Ben sees John for the first time he can barely utter a civil hello. I know John had some serious problems but it looks like he's got them under control. Despite the tough time, John taught Ben a lot about being a good cop. Maybe Ben should get over it and shake the man's hand.

There's never a quiet episode of Southland and this one featured plenty of scenes that made me gasp (and worse.) An armed suspect runs into an elementary school with Ben, Sammy and Dewey right on his tail. When he's cornered in the bathroom he bleeds out from the bullet hole in his neck as the cops watch.

When Sammy and Ben chase down another suspect who was trying to rape his girlfriend's 14-year old daughter, he runs in front of a moving truck. That wasn't pretty. He, too, bleeds out on the pavement.

As if that weren't enough bloodshed, a gunman walks into the precinct and opens fire. Why? Who the Hell knows?

Afterward, Sammy admits he wet himself as he's throwing up on the curb. New guy Officer Danny Ferguson (Lou Diamond Phillips, above) takes a shot to the vest and one to his jaw but he'll survive to come back and hopefully go a few more rounds with Ben.

Thank goodness Sammy survived. New baby Nate needs his daddy. Goodness knows his mommy is still a flake. The kid needs at least one responsible parent and it looks like Sammy's the one stepping up.

Finally, we have Lydia with new Detective Dorian. Lydia wakes up to find a former CI with whom she went to high school sitting on her doorstep. Danelle ditched her relocated home to come back, but now the gang she testified against wants her dead. Go figure.

Lydia still has a heart of gold and tries to save Danelle from her self but the junkie seems determined to get her wish. She also wants to see the ocean. In the end, she gets both, as we see her bloody body on the sand when the waves wash by.

As the narrator says at the beginning of the episode:

 Cops wake up different every morning from the rest of us. Our worst nightmare is just their Wednesday. | permalink

More than any other cop show, Southland tells me I'm not made to be a cop. I like my Wednesdays just the way they are.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (57 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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This years episodes suck!! Years 1 and 2 were great. What happened to the great writing and storylines?

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I LOVE this show. We absolutely need more episodes per season.
I miss chickie.... I know this show doesn't do spectacular in ratings and that results in budget cuts and cast cuts. But honestly, can we take the money we're paying lou diamons philips and bring back chickie??!!!
I like lucy liu. I just don't understand how the other cops (like dewey who comes off as great comic relief but can sometimes be a jerk) can make fun of her horrible video.
Why can't we have one steady partner for lydia? i thought ochoa was great with her, i liked their banter and the situation with lydia dating ochoa's son.
Can we find out more about their personal lives??? I really liked season one because we learned a lot about the characters' personal lives. Like ben.
I miss Detective Moretta sooo much. Kevin, you're a jerk for quitting the show for true blood. But whatever pays the bills, right?

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Damn good show until Lou Diamond's arrival. Goodbye.

Realdiehl

Poor Lydia. She always seems to bend over backward for her associates, whether CI's, witnesses or partners, and they usually meet some kind of tragic ending. Hopefully things start looking up for her as the season progresses. She deserves better.
At the opposite end of the spectrum you have Officers Dewey and "New Guy Officer" Danny. Their only concern seems to be how to get as many bad people off the street as possible by any means necessary. Even if that involves letting injured suspects bleed out while awaiting an ambulance. They show the callused attitude caused by years of exposure to the violence of LA's worst neighborhoods.
Someone needs to shut Dewey up with a punch to the head. I'm talking about the way he was teasing Tang over that YouTube video. I found it difficult to watch. Maybe Cooper will take care of that now that he's seen the video for himself. Didn't Cooper make eye contact with the eventual station shooter earlier in the episode?

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oh mannnn,... this is just the BEST SHOW EVER!! What a great show! It hits just the right note on every count. i just can't believe how much I love this show, which means it'll probably be cancelled soon, because i haven't liked a show this much since Caprica and it was like cancelled the next day, but I think this one has legs. hopefully it will be on forever like law and Order. man it is just so well done and so GETS the whole sick LA Gang sick disposable violent cesspool that is South Central LA. I have lived there and believe you me, it suckssssssssss, and they are showing it PERFECTLY! God these folks are freaking GOOD. Cried my eyes out at the beach scene in the end.... wow.

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@tigra Holy crap ur right!!!! I rewatched it and it is the guy from the coffee shop!!! Someone's had too much coffee.... Also this episode was amazing!!! I never thought that Southland could set another bar for more great episodes but I guess I was wrong... I'm hoping they keep it up and please add more episodes to the season!!!

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I respectfully disagree with you on Ben/John. John treated Ben badly for a while there in S3 and even almost got him killed, and in all reality it is Ben who saved John and even stayed quiet about his stint in drug rehab and didn't report it to anyone. It seems that everyone knows John had back surgery, but Ben is the only one that knows he had a drug problem. So in my opinion, Ben owes John nothing. In fact, I think John could have been more respectful when they saw each other again. Sure it is in John's personality to make jokes, but "I guess they have lowered their standards" comes off to me as inappropriate when it involves the guy who helped you make the first step towards getting cleaned up in the first place. Without Ben, he more than likely would have lost his job for good. It is John who is the ungrateful one in this scenario in my humble opinion.

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The shooter was the guy from the coffee shop. wtf?!

Southland Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

I don't thing your pilates teacher's opinion should get more weight than the surgeon general.

Sammy

Cops wake up different every morning from the rest of us. Our worst nightmare is just their Wednesday.

Narrator
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